For Lehigh Valley golf fans, this is the week to see senior golf pros at their best during the USGA’s U.S. Senior Open Golf Tournament being played at local Saucon Valley Country Club. The tournament runs June 23-26 at Saucon’s famed Old Course.
Of the 77 fully exempt golfers who will play, the only fan favorite and big draw that won’t be there is Fred Couples. Couples has withdrawn from the tournament with the USGA not providing a reason for Couples’ withdrawal.
I had the pleasure of bumping into Couples several years ago in British Columbia while I was there for a new car introduction. As I descended in the elevator of the hotel I was staying at, when the doors opened at the first floor, there stood Couples and his dog waiting to get into the elevator. Surprised to see him, all I could muster to say was “Hi Freddie” and he replied in his normally cool way of, “Hey how’s it going.” I subsequently learned his was there to play the now defunct golf tournament hosted by Shell oil company.
But there will still be familiar names playing in the field such as Fred Funk, Rocco Mediate, Jim Furyk, Davis Love III, David Duval, Vijay Singh, Mark Calcavecchia, Mark O’Meara, Tom Lehman and other notables that reigned on the PGA Tour.
If you are attending, be aware that there will be no paper tickets offered so it’s best to apply online now. Tickets can be displayed on your smartphone via the AXS app that’s offered when purchasing tickets online. Tickets will be delivered to your AXS mobile app for iOS and Android phones.
As there are four ticket packages available, Gallery tickets provide general admission to the Open and Saucon Valley Country Club’s grounds to walk the course and watch your favorite players. With this ticket, you’ll have access to the grandstands and opportunity to purchase food and beverages at concession stands around the course, according to the USGA. Gallery tickets also provide complimentary parking at an off-site location with shuttle service to and from SVCC. For more timely information contact the USGA Sr. Open Championship Office at 484-223-3295 ext. 2 with ticket questions or issues. Tickets can be ordered by visiting www.ussenioropen.com.
LIL-LE-HI TROUT HATCHERY
According to Herb Gottschall, president of Lehigh Fish & Game Association, there was supposed to be two remaining trout stockings in selected streams from fish in the hatchery, but because of an infestation of Mudsnails on the trout, Pennsylvania Fish Commission biologists have put those stockings on hold as they don’t want to spread the contamination to existing trout in area streams.
One of the remaining stockings could have been used for the upcoming July 4 Free Fishing Day when a fishing license is not needed to fish commonwealth waters. It would have been a nice enticement to try the sport.
Gottschall also apologizes to anglers who were bothered by some of the stocking crew during the recent Lehigh Fish & Game Association trout fishing contest on the Little Lehigh. The organization was celebrating their 100th Anniversary and Gottschall was angered that anglers were harassed.
Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.